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HomeMiddle EastEU Diplomats Visit Family of Palestinian Activist Died in PA Custody

EU Diplomats Visit Family of Palestinian Activist Died in PA Custody

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European Diplomats paid their condolences to Palestinian well-known critic Nizar Banat’s family at their home in Dora-Hebron, West Bank.

They met Nizar’s widow and their children as well as his father, mother and brother.

During the visit, the EU diplomats renewed the EU calls for an independent and transparent investigation that brings the perpetrators to justice.

They also stressed that violence in all its forms against peaceful political opponents, activists, journalists, and human rights defenders is unacceptable, saying that freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are sacrosanct principles under international law.

The solidarity visit came one week after the death of the prominent political activist Nizar Banat in the custody of PA forces.

Nizar Banat, known as a strong critic of PA policies, was arrested after PA security forces violently stormed his house overnight.

Family sources affirmed that he was severely beaten and assaulted during his arrest.

A few hours later, Banat was proclaimed dead while in custody.

Since then, angry protests swept across the West Bank, demanding “downfall of the regime” and “justice for Banat”.

International Condemnation

Banat’s mysterious death sparked large condemnation at home and abroad.

The United Nations Middle East peace envoy, Tor Wennesland, expressed deep sadness by the death and called for a transparent investigation.

“The perpetrators must be brought to justice,” Wennesland said, offering condolences to Mr Banat’s family.

The European Union delegation to the Palestinians also expressed shock and sadness by the death. A “full, independent and transparent investigation should be conducted immediately,” it added.

Lynn Hastings, UN resident and humanitarian coordinator, called the news “disturbing” and also called for those responsible to be brought to justice.

The US State Department said on Thursday that Washington was “disturbed” by Banat’s death.

“We urge the Palestinian Authority to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation and to ensure full accountability in this case,” spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.

“We have serious concerns about Palestinian Authority restrictions on the exercise of freedom of expression by Palestinians and harassment of civil society activists and organizations.”

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